The United States Senate’s impeachment trial of President Donald Trump is well underway, and both sides have been given the opportunity to present their arguments. Democratic House impeachment managers took three days to wrap up their opening statements, and the president’s legal team has so far offered only two hours of defense.
According to Alan Dershowitz, a member of Trump’s legal team, Democratic impeachment managers failed to make a convincing case for Trump’s removal. In an interview with Fox News broadcast on Sunday, Dershowitz said that Democrats “presented the strongest case they could,” but “didn’t come close to alleging impeachable offenses,” as reported by The Hill.
Speaking with anchor Chris Wallace, Dershowitz said that removing Trump on the basis of impeachment articles passed by the House of Representatives would be unconstitutional.
“They completely failed to meet that high constitutional standard, and therefore it would be unconstitutional to remove a president based on the allegations that were made against him in the articles of impeachment.”
Grilling Dershowitz, Wallace asked the lawyer to assume that all of the managers’ statements are factual, and then to answer whether Trump is guilty of impeachable offenses.
Dershowitz replied that the president’s legal team will demonstrate that the statements are “not true,” but even if they were they would still not meet the constitutional requirements for Trump’s removal.
“Even if the factual allegations are true, which are highly disputed in which the defense team will show contrary evidence, but even if true, they did not allege impeachable offenses,” the attorney said.
Trump’s defense team will continue their opening statements on Monday. The lawyers have signaled that they will shift their focus from the core of the case to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff.
Some legal experts are in agreement with Dershowitz, at least when it comes to Trump’s legal team’s performance. For instance, CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin opined on Saturday that the GOP is “winning” the trial so far, with the president’s lawyers offering compelling and persuasive arguments against Democratic accusations.
According to Toobin, the impeachment managers failed to adequately address key issues pertaining Trump’s phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, which created an opening for the defense team to point to evidence that favors their case. Furthermore, the fact that Trump’s lawyers took only two hours to present their arguments suggests that they are at an advantage, according to the legal expert.
“If you’re winning, shut up. That’s I think a guiding principle of what they’re doing,” he said.